Hey, squirrel friends!
Mama Ru is back and she’s brought a fierce pack
of blood thirsty queens with her. You can check back here weekly for our recaps
and readjusted Queenly Rankings.
Now, let’s read these bitches for filth! Or, at
least assign a totally subjective ranking based on their performance in week
All Shade—Here’s the Recap:
That’s it, hunties! We are down to the final
four: Kennedy Davenport, Ginger Minj, Violet Chachki, and Pearl.
We aren’t doing a typical Ru-cap today because
this isn’t your typical episode. This time, things get personal, and while the
challenge is important, the episode is really all about the queen’s stories and
interactions. Besides, I get the sneaking suspicion that Ru is pretty much
decided before she even sees that final lip sync…
Anyway, in a fun change of pace, Michelle Visage
joins the gals in the workroom the day after Katya’s elimination (ooh, that
still stings!) and tells them that their final challenge will involve dancing
and acting in the music video for RuPaul’s “Born Naked.”
Of course we get Ginger’s worried reaction to
choreography as they learn the steps. And Violet, too, seems to struggle,
citing her 1992 birth date as her reason for not understanding the 80’s
inspired moves. Thus the (very forced, very annoying) main thrust of this
season’s drama comes to a head: the older, pageant queens versus the young,
fresh, new queens. Trust me, it gets old in this one episode alone, and you’ll
likely come out hating Ginger and Kennedy or Violet and Pearl.
As they rehearse and prepare, Ginger pokes and
prods Violet: “You were struggling with the choreography, and acting hasn’t
been your strong suit either. What are you gonna do?” Violet retorts in typical
fashion: “I’m gonna push through it like I have been all season long!” Atta
girl. She is the only queen that
hasn’t landed in the bottom two!
Later, Ginger and Kennedy read Pearl and Violet
from across the room, commenting that the outfits they are choosing for their
“Best Drag” final runway are, essentially, trash. “This is your time to make a
statement,” notes Kennedy—bitch, so why you gonna judge other people’s
statement looks when they just have a completely and totally different
aesthetic than you?! Ugh. I guess you can tell which side of the hate spectrum
I’m leaning toward…
Finally, as they prep for the final runway,
Ginger and Kennedy both tear into Violet, telling her that she isn’t mature
enough or old enough to carry the weight of America’s Next Drag Superstar on
her shoulders. Say wha?! Violet admirably doesn’t retort, and honestly, it
really shows that this young, new-on-the-scene queen learned a great deal more
about herself (how not to seem like a bitch, how to take critique, etc…)
during this season than either of these more seasoned girls. Are they
intimidated by Violet? They should be.
The best (read: least obnoxious) moments of the
final episode come during Ru’s “lunch” with each queen. In a sly bit of
irreverent humor that I look forward to each season, the final four join her,
one by one, for a tic-tac (yes, literally one tic-tac) and a talk; if the show
weren’t so socially conscious I’d caution Ru against inspiring some serious
anorexia in her fans.
First up, Kennedy, who delves into the
difficulty of losing her father, who happened to be her biggest fan. She gets
emotional, and it is surprising and satisfying as a viewer to understand more
about this cagey queen. Amidst all the bickering and cat-fighting going on in
the workroom, it’s nice to know where Kennedy is coming from. Ginger joins Ru
next and, in an interesting comparison, talks about having zero relationship
with her father, another emotional, getting-to-know-you moment. Violet
discusses how she always had to stand up for herself and be her own shoulder to
cry on, and that makes sense, while Pearl skims the surface of some traumatic
experience in her past, cracking in front of Ru for the first time and really
offering some perspective on the evolution she’s undergone this season.
Sometime during all of this the queens film the
music video for “Born Naked.” It’s a jumble of silly acting challenges (the
girls have to play three different characters—a baby girl, a teenage boy, and a
high-as-a-kite grandma—sitting around a dinner table with Ru) and even sillier
green screen dance/lip sync challenges (Pearl and Violet seem to struggle the
Finally, we are ready for the last runway of the
season! Ru has reunited the original judges, Ross Matthews, Carson Kressley,
and Michelle Visage, and category is: Best Drag!
Continues on the next page…
Kennedy sports a fabulous floor length
rhinestone pride flag gown, draped from head to toe in rainbow-y goodness.
Violet opts for a high-waisted, tightly corseted pant and a beaded, fringe bra
on top; very Cabaret! Ginger walks
out in what appears to be a very pretty, fringe-filled wedding dress, but she
rocks it. And Pearl floats down the runway sporting a long, flow-y skirt and a
pink-tinged corset, topped off with the biggest wig of the season! All-in-all,
an excellent runway, ladies!
The queens each get to see their best takes from
the acting and dancing challenge as well: Kennedy is the weakest actress and it
really shows, but her free-wheeling, confident dancing is on-point; Violet’s
acting is much improved from the first show, and her dancing is less awkward
than one might have imagined; Ginger’s acting is, obviously, the best, and she
is genuinely funny, while her dancing is just fine; and Pearl, shockingly, does
a great job with the acting, tapping into some hidden rage and an expertise in
playing cracked-out grandmas (apparently). Her dancing? Well, she’s still got
that awkward robot thing going, but now I’ve just come to appreciate it.
The judges seem genuinely impressed with all of
the queens, basically saying exactly what I just said and coming to no
conclusion: who the f*ck are they going to send home?!
But first, as if they haven’t cried enough, Ru
holds up pictures of all of their four-year-old selves and asks each of the
girls to give one piece of advice to them. Great concept, and a recipe for
emotional turmoil for all these bitches.
Kennedy tells “little Rueben” that “all the
nights you have cried yourself to sleep” will be over soon; Violet tells baby
Jason to “try to have more patience with everybody and get to a goddamn ballet
class as fast as you can;” Ginger lets Joshua know that even though he will be
faced with a never-ending parade of bigotry and stupidity, “the only way to
survive that parade is to make yourself the grand marshall;” and Pearl, when
faced with a picture of four-year-old Matthew, says “I’ve never seen that child
before in my life.” Good one, Pearl. Then she lets the tears flow and really
digs deep: “I would have to start with a warning: you’re about to enter the
toughest years of your life. And shit’s gonna suck and people are gonna fuck
you up and take advantage of you and people are gonna be looking at you across
the room for so many years and you won’t understand why.” Oof, let it out,
baby. Now this is catharsis!
The camaraderie and personal betterment gets
tossed by the wayside with one final question: Why should you be America’s Next
Drag Superstar, and not your competitors?
Kennedy gets things going with an unfortunate
speech about how well she will “condone” herself (I think you mean “conduct,”
honey), and about how neither Pearl nor Violet have much to offer in the way of
professionalism. Violet is concise and to the point: “I represent the past, the
present, but more than anything, the future.” Ginger opens by saying that if
she could she would split the crown with Kennedy (really, bitch?) then
continues the bad-mouthing game, calling out Violet on her quick temper (really, bitch?!) and Pearl on the fact
that she was about to leave the show at one point. She finishes with a great
line though: “If we’re gonna super size our french fries, why can’t we super
size America’s Next Drag Superstar?” Finally, Pearl defends her drag: “You’ve
been telling me how exhausted I come off, and it’s because I am, from life. I
do not keep myself limited in some kind of drag box and I have so much more to
Alright, it’s out of their hands. Time for the
judges to decide who should make it to the top three….wait. There’s more.
All four queens are tasked with lip syncing to
“Born Naked!” It is great fun to see them embody specific styles, but I highly
doubt that their performances influence Ru’s decision in some way. The one
take-away is that Violet, who we haven’t seen lip sync yet, is a fabulous
performer and would’ve slayed some queens had she ended up in the bottom two!
Now, Ru has made her decision.
“Kennedy Davenport, I’m sorry my dear, but you
will not be moving on to the final three.”
Wow! I wasn’t necessarily expecting it, but it isn’t terribly surprising
either. She was the in the bottom two last week and arguably should have gone
home. A fine queen, but her attitude was getting in the way of her own
performance, in my opinion.
That leaves Ginger Minj, Violet Chachki, and
Pearl battling it out!
This week we can’t rank the house down–it is too
close to call! Who do you think will (or should) win this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race? Let us know in the